Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Doing up the downstairs loo...

After the laundry room makeover [which you haven't seen yet because I can't get it tidy enough to take 'after' photos] the downstairs loo was the next room we finished.
Unfortunately I didn't realise at the time that I was going to write a blog about it, so I don't have any 'during' pictures.
I do have a before photo though... and pretty grim it was too.
It wasn't actually as pink as it looks here.. more mauve.. purple even.

See.. I said it was grim.
All the sanitary ware in the house was 'platinum grey' when we moved in.. which isn't surprising I suppose, since the house was built in 1989...
I was selling New Homes back home in the UK back then, and I can confirm that Platinum Grey and an off white colour called Almond were indeed the most popular sani ware colours back then.
Thankfully White made a long overdue return to popularity in the early '90's.. and the days of Avacado, and Burgundy in the bathroom were banished. Let's hope forever.
Anyway.. it had to go, as did the nasty black tiles all round top.. so we investigated replacing it all.
The loos and sinks [x's 3] were no problem.. but the two showers in the loo & en-suite, and the bath, which is the size of Australia, were going to cost a fortune... and cause enormous disruption.
So onto plan B... we had them sprayed.

Back in the UK, old fashioned Cast Iron baths are very sought after and fashionable. But even though they are still common place they aren't always in great condition, and so bath re-enamelling is widely available.. and not expensive.
My sister had it done in her place a few years back, and the bath & surrounding tiles [which were a rather grubby 'off cream'] looked brand new afterwards.
At the time I remember the chap telling me that ANY flat surface can be covered in the exact same way. Unfortunately here in Western Canada there aren't that many iron baths to re surface, so the only company I could find was in Vancouver... but they were happy to come to the Island.
Both showers and the bath and their associated tiling were finished in 3 days and they even mixed the white to match our new loos and sinks which were Kohler. Little mess, no fuss and less than $2,000 for the lot. Removing and replacing would have been closer to $20,000. Bit of a no brainer really.

I painted the walls [and it took about 4 coats guys !!] Debbie Travis 'Spring Air' , which is also on the walls in the laundry.

The floor.. [which was in all the bathrooms, the laundry AND the kitchen] was next to go.. and once that was done we replaced the loo, the worktop and the sink. 

The lovely granite countertop and the under mount sink are a single unit called the 'Pegasus' from Home Depot that's just $199.. including the backsplash... There are various sizes and colours, and it was less than half the price I was quoted JUST for a custom piece of granite NOT including the sink.
That cute little mother of pearl handbag behind the soap dispenser came from a favourite bed & bath store of mine in Comox called Daduza. [I'll do a feature post on them next week.] I use it to store a lip gloss and tiny scent spritz.
The taps are 'Danze' and came from Canadian Tire.. another bargain, I waited 4 months for them to go on sale, and paid half the usual price.
I'm so cheap... ;o) 

My $49.99 Winners mirror.
We have replaced all the gold and brass fixtures in the house [and there were a lot of them] with white metal.. Every door knob, every light fixture, every tap. This light fixture replaced one of those stripper's dressing room light fixtures with the bare bulbs.
It came from Canadian Tire and the chrome ties in nicely with the chrome accents on the taps and on the loo.

The mirrors in all the bathrooms were bog standard 24 x 36 bevelled frameless ones... very dull
This replacement was another bargain find.. Winners [TK Maxx/Homesense] came up trumps again. I've seen a lot of these mirrors with mirrored frames around and about and they're great in small windowless spaces because the light bounces off them in all directions.
But most of them were between $200 and $300..

The French enamel signs and the polished stone knobs on the vanity are from a cute French country decor shop in Qualicum.

I painted the base of the vanity and the skirting boards Cloud White.. CC40, by Benjamin Moore which you will discover... if you stick with me..  is now all over the house.

After that it was just a case of finding the right accent pieces.

None of the Art pieces are under glass because the moisture from the shower tends to make the paper wrinkle. The towels, candles, bath salts and soap dispenser were collected over time from various sources. Reading this back that it seems as if there was a carefully laid out plan, but there really wasn't. We changed every single thing in this room except the shower door.. and that took some time.
The basic things; floor, spraying, walls and sanitary ware probably took about a year from start to finish, but the dressing has evolved over time. This mirror only went up this year.. [before that I had one from home with a white painted frame in this spot] and there are still changes I'd like to make.
It needs one big piece of art on the wall opposite the loo and sink.
I'm thinking artist's canvas covered in a piece of fabric.. or maybe two pieces of artwork I'm planning to buy from Erin at Yellow Canoe.
I'll let you know how it looks.
Jo xx


  1. Hi Jo! What a transformation! Looks great! Really fresh and beautiful! Love the lamp over the sink + stone knobs! BTW you have done a lot lately!! Wish I could post as much as you have, but my baby boy is ALL OVER THE PLACE! I`m in desperate need of a play pen!

  2. Frankly with what you have to do looking after the little one I'm surprised you can find the time to post at all. :o)
    Plus you have to remember.. apart from the laundry room cupboard, which hubby and I did in a weekend, the other posts have been about finished rooms and projects. All I had to do was take the photos.. and I write the posts on my laptop while I watch TV in the evening.

  3. Lovely transformation! Looks really fresh and inviting now. And love that you took your time with it. Have been looking for a nice toilet sign for ages but none of the ones I've found have quite fit the bill- love yours though!

    Speaking of taking your time with decor, have you discovered the inspired room yet (http://theinspiredroom.net/). Lovely home decor site, which you may enjoy.

  4. You know what Carin.. the thing in that room that took the longest was painting the cabinet..
    I was in the process of cleaning, sanding, priming and painting 22 kitchen doors, drawers and the associated carcasses. The last thing I wanted to do was paint anything else EVER again.
    Thanks for the tip on 'the inspired home' btw.. I'll go and have a look right now.
    Jo xx

  5. What, you mean you didn't want to keep that lovely frieze? ;)

    My bathroom was the best room in the house when we bought it, but two years on it's the only room that we haven't touched so it's crying out for some makeover magic like yours.

  6. I know.. pink butterflies and lilac daisies.. it was a terrible wrench stripping it off the wall... ;o)
    I think we probably tackled this room first because being so tiny it seemed the least daunting.
    Even so it still evolved over months rather than weeks.. but we did change everything. Even the shower head.
    have you decided what you're going to do with yours yet ?

  7. Thankfully no 80s grey built-ins here, so I might just rip off the faux marble wall tiles and repaint. I would love to replace the delightful mottled blue floor tiles too, but that would make it a much bigger job so I'm undecided about that yet.

    But unfortunately it will likely be some time before we can tackle any big projects - something to do with me quitting my job and not having any income!


Thanks for letting me know I'm not talking to myself..